Dec 29, 2012 7:00am EST
tomorrow afternoon. host: both majority leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell both expressed optimism after the meeting with the president. what is the basis of their optimism? is this a sign we might be one step, two steps, through step closer to a deal? caller: it does appear we are a step closer to a deal. they are talking about doing is extraordinarily popular stuff. except for the big marquee item, which is letting taxes rise on the wealthy. the rest of the stuff they are looking at doing the stuff they do all the time. it is extending an expiring tax policies. they know the benefit businesses. extent college tuition credits. there are looking at protecting people from the alternative minimum tax. it is all very urgent stuff that needs to be done. there are only two remotely controversial pieces of this, that is what to do with the estate tax and to how to define the wealthy people whose taxes are going to go up. the rest of it is, basically protecting people from tax hikes. i guess extending unemployment benefits and sometimes controversial for the republicans. it appears to have agre
Dec 27, 2012 12:00pm EST
expressed by the then-director of the national intelligence mike mcconnell, the then-c.i.a. director michael hayden, the attorney general at the time, michael mukasey, as they discussed the consequences that we would have to deal with if we continued not to move forward and put this act back in place. the agreement we reached balanced the concerns of those who feared that the national security agency had overreached with the other balance was the ongoing authority that the intelligence community needed to protect the country. that agreement is before us again to be reauthorized for another five years. the fisa amendments act protects individuals in the united states from so-called reverse targeting. it's one of the concerns people had five years ago. this would be a process which in theory could be used to monitor the communications of american citizens under the guise of spying on terrorists. it also continues to ensure that any communication originating in the united states caught in the fisa process is minimized. now, what does that mean? it means it's handled in a way that american commu
Dec 28, 2012 12:00pm EST
have to have that first vote done in a timely way so that both senator reid and senator mcconnell can leave to have the designated meeting with president obama. mr. cochran: mr. president, let me join with the senator from maryland in commending all senators for the expeditious way we've been able to move this bill but particularly the chairwoman herself, who's provided strong leadership, capable leadership, fairness, a sense of fairness for all senators, and i thank her for the honor of serving with her on this committee. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate senatorses can attend the weekly caucus meetings. this morning they approve and extension of the farm intelligence v it allows the government to continue intercepting overseas communication. it extends legal immunity phone companies that help the government wiretap the domestic phone calls. president obama plans to sign the bill. when the senate is back we are expecting senators to continued work on the $60 billion hurricane sandy relief package. negotiations continue on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.